Best Loans for Bad Credit in Illinois for 2024

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Reviewed byAlvin Yam, CFP
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Updated: April 15, 2024

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Happy Money is the best personal loan lender for bad credit in Illinois, with a MoneyGeek score of 93 out of 100. It provides quality service and competitive interest rates and is credible and transparent about its loan terms and process. The runner-up is Avant, with a MoneyGeek score of 93. It offers a swift application and approval process, broad payment options and strong customer service.

MoneyGeek reviewed four personal loan lenders in Illinois that specify and disclose a minimum credit score requirement ranging from 580 to 640 to find the state's best personal loans for bad credit. While the featured lenders offer competitive options, other local lenders, such as the Central Credit Union of Illinois, Illinois Community Credit Union and Central Illinois Credit Union, also provide personal loan services for those seeking more localized options.


Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payment in Illinois

In Illinois, the average new account balance for personal loans stands at $8,594, according to the TransUnion's Credit Industry Snapshot report. Personal loans typically require repayment through fixed monthly payments over a predetermined loan term. Calculating your monthly loan payments is helpful for budgeting, particularly when you have bad credit, as you'll want to ensure the payments are manageable. To accurately estimate your loan payments, you can use MoneyGeek's personal loan calculator.


Best Bad Credit Loans by Credit Score in Illinois

In Illinois, the average credit score is 720, slightly higher than the national average of 715 based on Experian data.

Even with a bad credit score, obtaining a personal loan is possible. Lenders in Illinois may accommodate borrowers with bad credit, though such loans typically come with higher interest rates and less advantageous terms. Review the following table to locate personal loan lenders in Illinois that align with your credit score bracket.


What to Do if Your Loan Application Is Denied in Illinois

It's not uncommon to have a personal loan application denied in Illinois. Understanding the next steps can help you navigate this setback. Here are some measures to enhance your chances for approval on future applications.


Find out the reason for the denial

A loan application may be denied due to a poor credit score, a high debt-to-income ratio, low income level or errors in your application. Review the lender's reasons to identify areas you can improve and reduce the chances of future denials.


Modify your loan terms

Consider asking your lender if adjusting the loan amount or repayment terms could lead to approval. These changes might make the loan more manageable for you and more acceptable to the lender.


Find another lender

Different lenders have various criteria for loan approval. Shop around and weigh factors to find the right lender for your needs and credit history. Consider the following:

  • Eligibility requirements: Lenders vary in their requirements for credit score, income level, debt-to-income ratio and employment history. Become familiar with these to determine fit.
  • Interest rates: Look for lenders offering competitive rates, particularly when you have a lower credit score.
  • Additional fees: Understand that lenders may charge fees such as origination, late or prepayment fees. This knowledge is crucial when you have a lower credit score.
  • Loan terms: Lenders offer various repayment options. Weigh the pros and cons of short versus long terms.
  • Customer service and reputation: Research the lender's customer service and reputation, ensuring it aligns with your preferences.

Look for alternatives

Alternative options to personal loans may be more suitable for borrowers with bad credit. Such options can include secured loans, credit builder loans or borrowing from family and friends. Exploring these may offer more flexibility or lower costs.


Improve your credit score

By improving your credit score, you increase the likelihood of loan approval. Steps to enhance your credit include paying bills on time, reducing debt and checking your credit report for errors.

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Work on improving your credit score before applying for a personal loan to increase your chances of approval and getting better terms. Here are some long-term steps to consider:

  • Monitor your credit utilization ratio: Keep your credit utilization ratio low, as high credit utilization can negatively impact your credit score. Aim to use less than 30% of your available credit limit.
  • Don’t close old credit cards: The length of your credit history contributes to your credit score. Even if you no longer use a credit card, keep it open unless it has an annual fee.

Alvin Yam, CFP

FAQ About Bad Credit Loans in Illinois

Borrowers, especially those with bad credit, may have questions or concerns when shopping for personal loans in Illinois. To assist in this process, we compiled answers to some frequently asked questions, offering clarity and guidance to help you make well-informed decisions.

The best personal loan for bad credit in Illinois is Happy Money, with a MoneyGeek score of 93 out of 100.

In Illinois, Achieve and Prosper both offer personal loans starting at 8.99% APR. Typically, only borrowers with excellent credit can secure this rate.

The lender with the lowest minimum credit score requirement for personal loans in Illinois is Avant, which has a requirement of 580.

The time it takes to get a bad credit loan in Illinois depends on the lender. Some lenders may offer same-day funding, while others can take up to a few business days or even a week.

You can pay off your loan early in Illinois. It's recommended to check with your lender about any potential prepayment penalties.

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The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.